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Oceanside drivers react to SR-78's extended closure for sinkhole repairs

aerial view of sr 78 sinkhole
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SR 78 westbound lanes closed because of sinkhole
Posted at 1:19 PM, Mar 24, 2023

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — North County drivers are bracing themselves for another round of heavy traffic on the westbound lanes of State Route 78.

The closure has been in place since Wednesday, March 15 when a sinkhole formed along the highway.

Caltrans crews will continue working on the sinkhole and replace five damaged culverts between College Boulevard to El Camino Real. The westbound lanes will remain closed this weekend and into early next week.

During this week’s storms, crews performed preventative work to shore up the location to protect it from the wet weather. Unfortunately, the rain did cause another delay.

RELATED: Sinkhole forces closure of westbound SR-78 lanes in Oceanside

Repaving and lane striping work are scheduled for next week, but Caltrans said the pavement must remain dry to complete this work and rain is expected mid-week.

"Once the westbound lanes reopen, crews will close the eastbound lanes to complete the other side of the culvert repair," the agency said in a press release.

Drivers using the highway will detour to the College Boulevard/Vista Way off-ramp, then west on Vista Way to the westbound SR-78 El Camino Real on-ramp.

ABC 10News spoke with drivers on Saturday who said the detour was delaying them about 30-45 minutes.

"I mean it’s backed up all the way almost to Sycamore…it’s kind of ridiculous actually," said Natosha Seats, an Oceanside Resident. "And this is on a weekend...I can't imagine on a weekday."

Caltrans said real-time traffic information, including road closures, traffic speeds, and construction updates can be found on their QuickMap website.